July 21, 2008
July 16, 2008
Me neither. On a side note, I wonder what the gas bill for one run is. OK, enough Debbie downer. These things are pretty cool. In Seattle, the Blue Angels come and fly over the lake, doing their stunts and tempting fate. The hydros go nuts, and there was even a little drama last year, when the sausage boat beat out the favored Dave Villwock. After 10 years of Chip Hanauer/Miss Bud dominance, it was nice to see the underdog pull it out. Hey, a little red stating never hurt anyone.
July 15, 2008
The term ‘science fiction boating’ brings up a picture of a new dolphin-like watercraft in the first result. This is old news:
This dolphin thing is capable of 30 mph on the surface and 20 mph under it. I bet breaching is fun.
July 14, 2008
While responsible boaters know that they must always be on the lookout for shallow waters, debris, and overboard children while out in their boats, they might also have another thing to worry about. KSL.com in Utah reports a relatively new phenomenon: “marine stressors.” These factors, including lots of sun, wind, noise and motor vibration can make a boater appear to be drunk, and significantly impair judgment. Utah police say that 6-8 hours driving a boat in these conditions can result in impairment equal to having a blood alcohol content of .10.
Authorities suggest taking a break from driving every few hours and that boaters drink a lot of water to minimize the effects of these “marine stressors.” This is also related to the recent phenomenon of “gaspriceitis” which can cause power boat owners to immediately locate a broker and trade their gas guzzler in for a sailboat.
July 11, 2008
Just came across a study that indicates that traveling by RV is still cheaper than going by air and renting hotels. The study does assume you packed your RV full of food and are not eating out, which is a huge savings. Yeah, the study was funded by an RV trade group. But still, good news is better than bad news, even if its objectivity is not exactly unquestionable.
Fox News featured the article. They seem like they would be into RVing.
July 10, 2008
July 8, 2008
Float tubes and their cousins, one-person pontoon boats, give an angler a great deal of mobility in slow-moving bodies of water. They are perfect when boats are not allowed or if you are hiking to your destination as these are more portable than say… a boat.
Here’s an interesting post on pontoon boats from someone who knows more than I do.
I’ve seen these things at Costco and Wal-Mart and they look fun, even for just hanging out on. I may need one now that it’s river floating season.
July 7, 2008
Lake Tahoe is one of the most beautiful places in the US, in my opinion, but even they are having trouble luring boaters out on the lake with $6/gallon gasoline. This story from the local newspaper does not inspire much optimism, even though the title tries to ‘buoy’ hopes. See what I did there? I’m pretty good.
Anyways, yeah, gas is expensive, and yeah, it’s really expensive if you’re doing lakefront fill-up. But, one guy in the story kind of has a point, in that it is ‘only’ $1 more than last year, and that maybe people think the extra $50 is worth it. This guy said it would be $20 more, but I don’t know of many boats with a 20 gallon tank. So $50. Okay, it’s not much of a point. For vehicles getting 1-3 mpg (boats!!!), this sucks.
July 1, 2008
As soon as gas prices started skyrocketing in April, sales of boats and recreational vehicles started plummeting, as many news sources have pointed out. While some industry sources claim that sales will remain decently strong, based on the belief (hope?) that people will cut back in areas other than their boat and RV spending, it is difficult to deny that there has not been an effect due to these rising costs. Just go to google trends and check out searches for RV or RV accessories compared to last year. Ouch.
So what to do? Many of us will go out on the boat less and shorten our RV trips. Some may even substitute RV tripping altogether; remember when you bought the RV to save money on hotel and motel costs? Hmmm. As for boating, I have some friends who are consolidating boat ownership, literally selling shares in their boat and agreeing to split fuel costs, spreading it out over as many regular passengers as possible. Does this make four- and five-person runabouts less efficient than a big bowrider? I guess it could if you got enough people on board.
MyGallons.com makes an interesting proposal. They essentially let you hedge against rising gas prices by pre-paying for fuel right now. While the fee structure makes it difficult to see major savings without a major supply shock for many automobile drivers, it strikes me as a pretty good idea for RV and boat owners, for whom 50 gallons of gas is just a weekend away. I know you can do the math, but I’ll make it easy: Say you buy 100 gallons and gas goes up $0.30. There’s the yearly fee right there, and you’ve only bought two tanks of gas for your boat, so why not buy twice that? Does anyone really expect gas to get cheaper?
Times are tough. A little creativity can go a long way.